Richard Stallman’s dismisses proprietary softwarefor a good reasonbut his recommendations are only followed by ICT experts. Let us have a closer look.
Professional software versus software for the masses
The market share for operating systems for desktop computers of MS Windows is actually 91,2%. Apple has 5,27% while GNU like systemstake only 3,61% . Apple OS and Android dominate mobile devices, with 47,06% for Android, 43,83% for Apple and only 2,38 for MSWindows. Though Android is a GNU like system it isn’t free software as to Richard Stallman:
“Google has complied with the requirements of the GNU General Public License for Linux, but the Apache license on the rest of Android does not require source release. Google said it would never publish the source code of Android 3.0 (aside from Linux). Android 3.1 source code was also withheld, making Android 3, apart from Linux, nonfree software pure and simple.”
“A program is free software if the program’s users have the four essential freedoms:
The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.”
Richard Stallman is the initiator of free software movement since 1983 and the writer of the GNU licence. He is also an experienced software developer. Stallman explains that proprietary software, the commercial software used on home computers and smart phones, like MacOS, MSWindows, Itunes, Facebook, Amazon is often malware.
“We are constantly connected with the world and the price we pay is that we interact with it less, as we are increasingly less able to do so.” (Manfred Spitzer, 2012)
Electronic media and face to face interaction
C. Wright Mills has instructed us that historical perspective and background next to the analysis and awareness of a representative sample of personal histories are the main resources in sociology, we tend to forget history and background when talking about computers and Internet. So when looking for the social impact of digital social networks, the historical impact of television and other electronic media is often neglected. When Internet started to spread in the mid nineties, television had repulsed community life already, largely pocketing face to face communication and impoverishing community life (Aric Sigman, 2009).
When you discuss about privacy in a heteronymous group, there will always be at least one who states he/she has nothing to hide because he/she does nothing wrong. There are still people that cannot afford to be on the Net but some choose deliberately to ignore social networks and claim that privacy is not their problem either. But both categories are mistaken.
For the first time since its establishment in 2006 the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) of ICANN is paralleled with a protest forum, the Internet Ungovernance Forum.
Internet protests all over the world until now were addressed against national states and international organizations wanting to limit internet freedom and net neutrality or against those state and non-state services breaching privacy on the net, but this time a critique is formulated against the Internet governance itself by the Internet Ungovernance Forum. The announcement stated:
“We see that at IGF the most urgent problems of the Internet do not get the right attention. Due to the “multi-stakeholderism” format, the main perpetrators of many of the Internet’s problems, governments and corporations, are getting representation in IGF they don’t deserve. Given these circumstances, we decided to take initiative to defend the Internet as we know it and to create a space to raise the voices of civil society initiatives, activists and common people.”
Draadloze ‘community’ netwerken verbinden mensen met elkaar in plaats van ze op te hangen aan de gecentraliseerde servers van Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft en Apple, die hun data verkopen aan marketeers en de NSA. Ze helpen ook bij het dichten van de digitale kloof, soms zijn ze levensnoodzakelijk zoals tijdens en na de orkaan Sandy. Ze zijn bottom up, ze zijn in het belang van de gemeenschap, en ze zijn al meer dan tien jaar bezig, maar je hoort er zelden over.
I propose learning by experience, in fact I experieced myself what it is like to use the wikipedia while preparing this course. I will redo my own exploration and propose some other wikipedia pages to look at, just click the links…
There are Wikipedia pages in different languages about the developer of ‘la méthode Freinet’, Célestin Freinet. Freinet’s method aimed at primary school, though it is adapted to secondary education later on in Ghent and is to be implemented in technical education also .
‘Project onderwijs’ has an expanded Dutch Wikipedia page, but no page in English. If you didn’t already know, to find pages in other languages on Wikipedia, look in the left corner beneath.
More unbalances. Look at the German page of Oskar Negt and compare it with the English page. Look at the length of both pages.